The Act of Killing wins Burma award

AWARD. Joshua Oppenheimer receives the prestigious Aung San Suu Kyi Award for his documentary about the 1965-66 genocide in Indonesia. "A cinematic masterwork, filled with multiple levels of humour, panache, outrageous flair and style, theatrics and cinematics," says the jury.

Honours have been showered on "The Act of Killing" since it opened last year at the Toronto and Telluride festivals. 

Now Joshua Oppenheimer's chilling documentary about the killings in 1965-66 of more than one million alleged communists, ethnic Chinese, artists and intellectuals has received the Aung San Suu Kyi Award for Best Documentary Film at the Human Rights, Human Dignity Film Festival in Burma. The festival is held in honor of the pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace laureate who lends her name to the award and who personally handed it over on her birthday on 19 June.

"A reflection and a warning"

"The Jury recognizes a cinematic masterwork, filled with multiple levels of humour, panache, outrageous flair and style, theatrics and cinematics. It is a film with a serious intent which touches on a raw nerve in the country where it was made, but has also helped begin a national dialogue in that society," the jury stated. 

"It is a film which is not only critical of brutal actions in the past, but also examines the resonance of those actions on Indonesian society today, by exposing current forces and organizations which would easily threaten to mobilize and recruit people to support similar super-nationalist, ex-judicial and militarist thinking. In that way, the film is both a reflection and a warning."

The core mission of the Human Rights, Human Dignity Film Festival is to promote human rights awareness in Burma by using the power of film and the persuasive strength of audiovisual communication, and to create a space for encouraging human rights discussions amongst the general public in Burma.

Read more about the Human Rights Human Dignity Film Festival

More awards

Directed by Copenhagen-based Joshua Oppenheimer and produced by Final Cut for Real, "The Act of Killing" recently added these awards to the list: 

Sheffield Doc/Fest, UK Special Jury Award (Grand Prize) & Audience Award

Grimstad International Short & Documentary FF, Norway Golden Chair for Best Documentary

Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival, Edinburgh Basil Wright Award

Biografilm Festival, Bologna, Italy Grand Prize

DocsBarcelona, Spain Grand Prize